This article focuses on La Jolla, one of the most beautiful neighborhoods of San Diego.
Everything started with a melancholic statement.
“We have not been to La Jolla in a long time,” said my husband.
“It is true,” I replied.
“Why we do not go tomorrow. We can wake up late and arrive around 10:00,” he said next.
It was a proposition hard to resist. I had to give in.
So, the next day we departed to La Jolla around 8:30 a.m. Everything went smooth and we were there before 11:00 a.m.
It was one of those ridiculous California winter days where the temperatures were in the high 70s. It was the perfect day for a coastal stroll.
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About La Jolla
La Jolla (the jewel in Spanish), a community in northern San Diego, is characterized by an uneven, rough coast full of caves, rock formations, and multicolored shades of the ocean. A walk around Coast Boulevard puts you in direct contact with soft sand, tide pools, and emerald-colored coves.
Not much can deter you from marveling at how the waves have carved this area of the California coast.
La Jolla in Photos
Taking a look at the photos I took the last time I was in La Jolla, I discovered my previous visit was more than two and a half years ago. Time surely flies!
That last visit was a cloudy and cold one. This time things were different. The sun was shining as bright as you can imagine. The waves were concentrated on giving their own unique show. Swells were between 12 and 15 feet.
The entire area was covered by ocean spray. But, there is something that cannot be denied. The coast was beautiful that day. This area never stops to surprise me.
Today, I present you La Jolla in one of the best lights I have witness it.
This protected cove is a favorite sunbathing spot for sea lions. You can get close by using a walkway (however, remember to respect wildlife).
The day I visited, the waves were rough!
La Jolla Cove
While walking along Coastal Boulevard, a commotion down at La Jolla Cove caught my attention. Most of the people taking a dip in the chilly waters were looking at the same direction. Some guys were walking towards a creature making quickly pirouettes close to the waves lapping against the cliffs.
“Ugh, ugh, ugh,” is all that I heard.
I took a look at the water using my camera zoom and discovered who was responsible for the upheaval and the loud noises
A group of about four took La Jolla Cove without caring about the dozens of human beings taking a dip in their ‘hood. What is most; they seemed not afraid of being in close contact with people. I felt like they were putting a show and enjoying getting the attention of adults and kids.
At closer inspection, I saw the sea lions popping next to kayakers and swimmers. They used the rocky base of the cliffs to congregate and make their peculiar noises. I mean people pay hundreds of dollars to swim and be close to these creatures (like in the Galapagos).
In La Jolla, you can watch and even get in the water, with these fun animals for free (or for cheap if you are kayaking).
Walking north along Coast Boulevard, there is a spot where you can spy the sea lions almost at street level. Warning: you can observe them if you can resist the hideous smell for a few minutes. People tend to cover their noses when walking around.
I started to wonder how they get so high on the cliffs. My reasoning: they can get up high when the tide is high. My husband differed.
“Are you kidding me?” he said with a grave tone. “They just climb the cliff.”
We kept discussing the point until, to my disbelief, we saw a big specimen climbing the cliff without any reservation. Let me tell you, this sea lion was quite agile and quick. I have never thought a three hundred pounds ball of fat (males can weigh up to 600 pounds) could be so “athletic.” This particular sea lion was even fighting with pelicans in order to get cleared the spot where he wanted to take a nap.
Goldfish Point and La Jolla Cove
We continued walking since I could hear the “ugh, ugh, ugh” song amplified by an echo. I knew there were sea lions within an enclosed place somewhere.
At one point, I had in front of me one of the most famous caves in La Jolla (some called it an arch). Using my camera zoom again, I was able to see how the cave was full of sea lions. Their sounds can get really loud in this area.
I got over Goldfish Point (or over the big cave) to take a better look at the other caves on the coast. There is a tunnel that takes you down to one of the caves but we were constrained by parking requirements. The caves can also be explored by kayak.
Coastal Walk Trail
After Goldfish Point, I took the Coastal Walk Trail. The views from here blew my mind. The walk is flat and easy. I recommend walking even a bit for mega views of the coast.
I was happy to end the day surrounded by all things spectacular; spectacular views, spectacular coast, and furthermore spectacular sea lions. Those silly creatures make me smile every time I think about them.
Parking is free along Coastal Boulevard.
This article has discussed a small section of La Jolla. Other areas include Torrey Pines, La Jolla Shores, Bird Rock, and the center of the village.
Visit ready to walk (comfortable shoes), sun-protected (sunglasses, hat, sunblock, long sleeves), and beach-ready.
Beach Town Gear
As I spend a lot of time on beach towns, I have my gear packed and ready to throw in the car. Here is an idea of what I take to the beach.
- Walking Shoes – Comfortable walking shoes are a must. My go-to brands are Clarks, Tevas, and Sketchers.
- Flip Flops – Flip flops are a must on any beach trip. I am partial to the Tevas brand. >>Take a look at these beautiful flip flops
- Water Sandals – If you want a more polished look, check out these leather-made salt water sandals.
- Sweatshirt – A sweatshirt is a must to keep me warm during chilly mornings and nights. >Click to see this California appropriate option here
- Sun Block – Do not leave the house (or the car) without applying sunblock. I repeat, always wear sunblock when outdoors. >Buy sunblock here
- Lip Balm with Sunscreen – Protect your lips by applying a balm with sunscreen. >Get one of the best lip balms here
- Wide Brim Hat – A wide brim hat is a great way to protect your scalp, face, and neck. The ones manufactured by FURTALK come with an anti-UV function. >Buy this amazing hat here
- Sunglasses – These are another must when it comes to protecting from the sun. A polarized, sporty pair works better outdoors. >Take a look at this wonderful pair
- Towels – This is the accessory I always forget about. WETCAT’s Turkish Towels take minimum space and dry fast. >Buy a Turkish towel here
- Foldable Chairs – Portable chairs allow you to set camp at the beach, park, winery, and even a parking lot. A classic Coleman portable chair is a solid choice. >>Buy portable camping chair
- Beach Blanket – For laying on the sand, a beach blanket is necessary. Good ones are waterproof, sandproof, and light. The blankets manufactured by Wekapo fit several adults and are durable. >Buy this nice beach blanket here
- Soft Cooler Bag – A soft cooler bag with enough capacity is great for having drinks and some food items at hand. I love my CleverMade collapsible cooler bag. >Take a look at my cooler here
- Water Bottle – Do not forget to bring water! Keep yours cold by taking a beautiful Hydro Flask water bottle. >Check out the insane options here
- THERMOS Tumblers – I have been a fan of the THERMOS brand since I received a tumbler as a gift. The tumblers keep drinks hot for hours. >>Buy THERMOS insulated tumblers here
- Dry Bag – Keep your valuables (and electronics) protected by bringing a dry bag. >These dry bag is awesome
- Beach Bag or Large Tote – Carry all your gear on an amazing beach bag. Get one with tons of pockets (I love pockets). >>>Check out my beach bag top pick
- Camera – I have never gotten used to taking pictures exclusively with my phone. I prefer to use the Sony Alpha a6000. It is compact and takes gorgeous pictures. >Buy Sony Camera here
- Tripod – A compact tripod to take your photos and videos to a different level. >>Check out this popular option here
- Portable Power Bank – It is a pain to keep phones charged on beach trips. Having a power bank is a lifesaver. The Anker portable charger can charge a phone 5 times. >Buy this incredible power bank here
More of Southern California
Have you been to La Jolla? What is your favorite spot?